Concerning Percolation

I have a part-time gardening job. My employer is very proud of her garden, but she still has a hard time appreciating it. For example, it’s being considered as part of a garden tour show, and it’s in the top percentile in terms of quality. She was quite surprised by this assessment by the garden show committee, but admits, she’s a bit too close to provide an impartial opinion of her work.

Frequently, with my own work, I have to immediately walk away from it once it’s been expressed. If I don’t, I’ll think it’s shit. But I’ve found that if I leave it alone for a while, I can provide a more impartial opinion.

So there’s 2 legal pads sitting below my desk with a script called This Bitter Earth written on them.

I wrote this script because I really liked the idea of an orphan boy living on a ferry in the Puget Sound, using the car deck for skate boarding, and spending is free time reading books, drinking tea, and feeding mutated orca whales.

Earth’s sea levels have risen substantially and the dominant life form is mold and fungus. This monoculture of fungus is choking the planet and Zenith spends his days sending signals into deep space, a practice handed down to him from his father. The lore goes that a scientific expedition left the Earth long ago, and that if they can call that scientist back, they can help fix the planet. But, fungus doesn’t want that…

Percolation is also a great method to make coffee.

Concerning Humans, Elves and Buggers

So, I’m done illustrating Enter Cedar. There’s still an epilogue to sketch and ink, but I think I’ll wait to finish those 15ish pages before posting. So it might be a minute before I add new content to the comic on this website.

In the mean time, here’s a concept I’ve toyed around with, that I think applies to some of the “big picture movers” of the upcoming series. I call it “Humans, Elves and Buggers”. Or, the Imbibe version would be, “Beasts, Bots and Boos”.

Humans (or “Beasts”) are beings with finite lives. They must procreate to proceed forward in time and they must teach knowledge to subsequent generations. Titus Waiting is not entirely human, but he is a parasitic being who needs hosts to live. This, combined with his reliance on human culture to build his technology, makes him pretty human.

Elves (or “Bots”) have infinite life (think Lord of the Rings). While they still procreate, they don’t do it to further the species. However, elves still need to be taught knowledge. But because they live forever; once learned, forever kept. The KBR is an infinitely living robot who definitely has no urge procreate, but continuously learns through this knowledge retention programing.

Buggers (or “Boos”) like humans, have finite lives and must procreate to continue their species through time (think Formic Queens from Ender’s Game). But because they have a hive mind and collective knowledge, they don’t teach or pass down knowledge, they just know everything. Cedarface is part of the spiritual hivemind. While his mothers may not procreate, Cedarface was made. It is quite possible that Cedarface’s golem nature may make him mortal. I haven’t figure that one out yet.

I’m not sure if these 3 characters perfectly resemble these 3 definitions. It could be argued that Cedarface, the KBR and Titus Waiting all have infinite live and don’t spend time procreating, which makes them all Bots, which makes the Imbibe Universe a story of Bots vs Beasts, with no Boos present. But it could be argued that Cedarface’s mothers are Boos, because while they live forever in human minds, they are ultimately reliant on the mortality of those human lives. Cedarface’s mothers must cultivate belief of themselves within humans to continue existing

Concerning Inkwash Vs. Color

Color adds so much to a piece. I was reviewing pages from Deep Circuitry and noted that a lot of the lower illustration skill can be forgiven because of the color.

And then I saw the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and started thinking “how can I add color to my next project”?

Cons: Color theory is challenging and hard to get right. Fixing analouge color is challenging to fix in digital post. Color (done well) will be time consuming. Painting analouge color will be challenging to keep consistent for 100 pages. B&W is fast. B&W is classic.

Pros: Color (done well) looks fuckin’ great.

Well. Okay. Lots of cons, but the one pro outweighs them all. Great…

I think what I’ll consider is borrowing from Hayao Miyazaki’s method of minimally watercoloring his storyboards. From the Studio Ghibli movie, Ponyo:

Or, perhaps even keeping the process analouge up until color is required, and maybe doing color digitally. This would be faster and quicker to recover from mistakes. I’d probably even consider doing focus areas with cell, and everything else in watercolor style. This is the same method I used for Deep Circuitry. For example:

At this point, it’s a matter of exploring how it will fit within my current work schedule.

If script and thumbnail exist, then-
– Thursday: sketch
– Friday: ink
– Monday: ink wash
– Tuesday: digital touch up and lettering
– Wednesday: post and publish

There’s quite a bit of room within these 2 hour sessions, especially since I’ve been slacking (not waking up on time, not spending the full time actually working).

Concerning Energy Beings

So we meet the Erueniks in Deep Circuitry, Rachell and the other inhabitants of TVR are Erueniks. After Deep Circuitry leaves Eruen, the Erueniks develop a singular culture with a singular language and a obsession with finding entertainment and stimulation that isn’t TVR. They become super afraid of all technology after being abandoned in TVR (think Dune). This entertainment involves scouring the universe for DNA for genetic manipulation. This is how they find Earth.

And while they’re scouring Earth, they cause a great disaster and destroy their planet and they all turn into energy beings with no memories. Groph in Groph’s Green Wizardry is possessed by one of these beings. Eruen is also the planet that Titus finds in Titus Waiting.

I’ve been toying with redeveloping their visual look.

Concerning “Where the Highway Meets the Corridor”

Do I really want this to be my next project? I really like the characters, I’m just not entirely certain the script is the strongest. It was my first big effort at writing a feature length script. I had written a lot before near the end of my contract writing and animating safety training videos down in Olympia. It’s a mockumentary, which is a style I really like to watch. How that will convert to a comic? That’s a good question. But, we’re going to find out. I think it’ll help that I like the characters so much.

This is Robert, Allen and Samantha. Robert is a chain smoking stoic sort of fellow, the sort of person who feels everything but fails to emote it. Allen is an alien who is obsessed with collecting firewood, splicing genes and playing banjo. Samantha is a passionate and idealistic thinking leader who prides herself on combining the functional with the superfluous. Both Robert and Samantha have known each other since childhood and since learning of Allen’s presence, have dedicated their late teenage years to protecting their alien friend.